What do Baby Yoda, digital influencers, and the 2020 Democratic candidates have in common?
Baby Yoda was introduced in “The Mandalorian,” a new series that is part of the Star Wars universe and is currently streaming on Disney+. The adorable character was named by fans after the famous Jedi master and became an instant social media hit.
A recent article from Axios shows that Baby Yoda drove almost twice the number of social media interactions as the 2020 Democratic candidates. From November 12 to November 25, Baby Yoda had about 2.3 million raw social media interactions, surpassing most of the Democratic hopefuls and getting to the same level as the frontrunners of the race: Joe Biden (8 million), Bernie Sanders (2.9 million), and Elizabeth Warren (2.5 million). The numbers reflect only interactions with news stories, not considering memes, GIFs, and content native to social media, formats in which Baby Yoda is everywhere.
When the force is strong
At the same time, social media influencers are increasingly becoming advocates of social causes, reshaping the way they choose the brands and the content they promote. An article by The Fashionista explores this new trend and shows how influencers that stand with their beliefs and work on purpose-driven commitments end up giving brands more credibility.
A Morning Consult research shows that this trend has been noticed and is working. The majority of Generation Z and Millennials (88%) say that they prefer to follow influencers who are authentic and who care about a cause. Influencers that are funny or have an engaging personality are also preferred by 88% of the audience, while 85% choose influencers who are knowledgeable about something the respondents care about.
Here is how all of this comes together: social media engagement requires authenticity. This is what Baby Yoda gets, and what Democratic candidates and influencers wish to get. The social media engagement has become one with the brand.
With Baby Yoda, Disney brought in a character that adds new layers of empathy and mythology to a series with a legion of fans — and, in doing so, found the perfect way to promote its new streaming service and to reach the audience. If politicians or influencers don’t seem authentic on social media, they will forever aim at Baby Yoda but hit Jar Jar Binks (one of the most hated characters in the series).